Posted: August 12th, 2013
Go Home Whistlin’ Piano Concert summary
The faculty recital of “Go Home Whistlin’” that was done by Daniel G. Driskell took place on September 20, 2012 at the Laidlaw Performing Arts Center Recital Hall. The concert featured the works of Schubert, Haydn, De Falla and Chopin and a conclusion by an arrangement of theme songs from the Wizard of Oz. The program was organized to start with the playing of a set that consisted of Sonata in G major by Haydn, Impromptu by Franz Schubert, Waltz by Chopin, Aragones from Pieces Espagnoles by Manuel de Falla, Prelude by George Gershwin, and Wizard of Oz Fantasy by Harold Arlen.
The concert was properly publicized, but the entry price placed on the tickets was biased and this probably deterred most music lovers. The event was poorly advertised on the program and most people would have overlooked the announcement flyer if it were placed on a notice board. The flyer had a plain design and did not attract the attention of pedestrians. Most people would have overlooked it. The public was admitted at a cost of $8 while the LPAC faculty, students and staff paid only $5. While it is understandable that the internal campus members might get a discount, showing the price differences made many of theater lovers feel cheated and made them avoid the concert. The contacts for asking any additional information were also limited, and the available number was congested. Because of these two issues, most music lovers did not take the concert seriously.
The organization of the concert placed the event in a large hall with reputable artists but did not have enough ticket distribution points. The tickets were also being sold at the door only, and this limited the number of people who could attend the concert. The choice of music that was being played at the concert was also jumbled and incoherent. Having a mixture of classical music such as Chopin’s and contemporary music on the Wizard of Oz was bound to attract a smaller number of participants. Most concerts of the nature have one type of music instead of mixing different genres. Similar concerts have been held in the premises and have been hugely successful because they focused on one type of music.
The attendance of the concert was also dismal. Most of the participants were students and staff of the University of South Alabama. Specifically, the turnout was from the music department that had hosted the event. Apart from the university community, there were a few academicians and their family members. The Laidlaw Performing Arts Center Recital Hall has a seating capacity of 2,000 people. On the day of the concert, only 400 seats were occupied which was about a fifth of the hall’s capacity. The policy that seats held for people with passes was also not efficient in encouraging people to book more seats.
The performance by Daniel Driskell was also slightly boring. Daniel Driskell is a teacher of music and a pianist who has had experienced many years playing jazz classical, religious, and trendy music. However, on the day of the Laidlaw Concert, Driskell was somewhat out of sorts. His first performance, Sonata in G major was not as interesting and captivating as I expected. The rest of his performance were excellent but lacked the emotion that attracts many people to the theater. It was as if he was performing for a smaller and less worthy crowd and did not have to put on his best show. I have been to other performances on music from Mozart, Ray Charles and Beethoven that have been more entertaining.
The idea to come up with a concert to celebrate the famous pianist Daniel G. Driskell and collect funds for their music department was an excellent plan. However, the implementation of the project was seriously flawed. The publicity was poorly done, and the choice of music was done haphazardly. Although, as a music lover, I overlooked these setbacks and tried to enjoy the concert, it would be good to improve on the quality of performances hosted by the music department in future.
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